Strikers Fox Valley Inaugural President’s Blog post

From the President

2020 certainly was a challenging year to say the least. While many clubs are hoping 2021 will get us “back to normal,” we at Strikers have worked to move our club in a direction for the future that is anything but “normal.” If the pandemic has shown us anything, it’s that we need a plan – a plan to restructure, re-evaluate and re-energize the club to prepare us for the future.

In order to get things started, we decided to create a movement. “One Community, One Club” started from our belief that what the Tri-Cities community needed was a single club that could take a player through a flow from their start in the game, whenever that might be, and develop that player to the end, whether that ends at high school or college. We looked at our programs and decided to align them with this flow – with a focus on the growth of the player. We now have complete programs that start with Developmental Recreation (2-9 years), Center of Excellence (4-9 years), Competitive Traveling (7-12 years) and Senior Competitive Traveling (13-23). And coming this fall, we’ll add our new Recreation Developmental League! We will be working extensively with the Park Districts in all three Tri-Cities communities along with the Kane County Forest Preserve District to make this the best developmental league the area has ever had.

We also know we have to stay involved in the community and get the community involved with the club. Through our GoFundMe campaign in 2020, we raised money to help deliver meals and necessities to first responders, nursing homes and shelters all over the Tri-Cities area. We’ve also started our Strikers Sponsorship Program and have signed two new club sponsors in Fox Valley Orthopedics and Total Clarity Wealth Management. We’re very excited to have these two great organizations working with us as we move forward. Our Friends of Strikers program is having great success reaching out to Tri-Cities businesses to get them involved in our fundraising efforts and sponsorship of the new fall league. We are also developing new service projects for our players to participate in that will to help them to get involved in their local communities.

As part of this evolution at Strikers, we have re-evaluated and restructured our curriculum from beginning to end. We’ve worked with our Directors and our Coaches to develop a “style of play” we all agreed was best suited to moving our players along in their development. Our new curriculum incorporates that style of play to facilitate the growth of each player at each stage of their development. This is not a curriculum that was designed to win championships at 9 or 10 years old, but a curriculum to build the tools within each player that cultivates the skills and tactics needed at each stage of their game to become a complete player and have the ability to play the game of soccer at whatever level they choose. Our Speed, Strength and Conditioning program (formally our CORE program), is getting a complete makeover and will now be implemented in three stages beginning at age 9. Facets of this program will be introduced at each training session during the fall and spring seasons, with a more extensive program rolling out over the winter months.

This is an exciting time for both Strikers Fox Valley and our local communities. We had a choice to make – return to “normal” and continue as usual or use this time to re-energize ourselves, break from the norms and move in a new and exciting direction. By no means is our work done, we understand that. Our “One Community, One Club” movement is just that, a movement! We will continue to work for you to move this club into the future and be the “One Club” for all of our members and for the Tri-Cities area to grow with and to enjoy this great game.

To Growth!

Pat Feulner
Strikers Fox Valley